27 Plants That Don’t Like To Mix It Up – Incompatible Plants!

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Most experienced gardeners do a good job keeping their plants healthy, but even with these efforts, some plants are just not meant to grow next to others.

There are many reasons why these plants are incompatible. For instance, some plants do well in certain environments. Others require more nutrients.

Incompatible Plants for the GardenPin

While others are susceptible to parasites and pests that could be detrimental to other plants. Some plants don’t like to mix with others!

Read on to learn what plants and vegetables grow well and what not to plant next to each other.

Incompatible Garden Plants

There are plants that grow well together, while there are some that seem to hate other plants.



Knowing the plants that are incompatible with each other is rather easy, provided you follow some basic rules. Successful farms know this secret of companion planting.

For example, you should never place tall plants next to short plants, as tall plants will deprive the short plant of much-needed sunlight.

Kale and othe incompatible plants, understanding plant compatibility for a thriving gardenPin

However, you can still plant both the tall and short plants together if you allow enough space for the short plants to receive enough sun.

Our article outlines a list of incompatible plants compiled from seasoned gardeners’ experiences. Some of these experiences are backed with a scientific explanation, while others are not.

However, the article will help you to be conscious of what you grow in your vegetable garden to reap the maximum yields.

So, what plants grow well together?

1. Beans

Since beans are legumes, they can enrich the well-drained soil by nitrogen-fixing. This is why they are planted in between different types of plants, such as potatoes, cucumber, corn, and spinach.

However, beans seem to have a negative effect on vegetables from the onion and cabbage families.

Some of the veggies included in these families include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Mustard
  • Cress
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Leeks

2. Asparagus

Fresh green asparagus on a dark background.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @mepmeals

Asparagus does well with flowering marigolds, nasturtiums, and other herbs like parsley and basil. This is because they will repel most pests affecting marigolds and basil plants.

Growing fennel or garlic around Asparagus is a bad idea. They will compete for the same nutrients. Avoid growing any onion family plant around the Asparagus for the best results.

Planting asparagus near black walnut trees is also not recommended because it’s sensitive to juglone, a toxic compound found in all parts of the walnut tree.

3. Carrots

Fresh carrots in a basket.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @morphin_76

For the best carrot yields, grow them with legumes such as peas, beans, and nightshade family vegetables. The legumes are very good at providing the carrots with much-needed nitrogen in the soil.

Your carrots will also do well when they share the space with leeks, radishes, onions, or other low-growing plants such as parsley and lettuce.

However, the carrots will not grow well when grown together with herbs such as dills and celery. Therefore, avoid herbs in the same piece of land as carrots.

4. Cabbage

Cabbages are large and soft-headed vegetables. Due to their soft nature, they attract a large number of pests. Therefore, the cabbages grow together with herbs such as celery, dill, rosemary, onion mints, and thyme for maximum yields.

These types of herbs help keep many pests away. However, you should avoid growing basil around cabbages as it hinders their growth.

Similarly, cabbages will not enjoy the companionship of beans, although they do well when grown together with potatoes. In addition, beans, especially pole beans, are not good companions of cruciferous vegetables.

5. Corn

Farmers who grow corn together with squash and beans tend to get the maximum yields from their farms. This is because these plants fix nitrogen in the soil.

Evidence also shows that corn does well with other plants, such as the cucurbit family. This consists of plants such as cucumber, melon, pumpkin, and most legumes.

However, corn does not do well when tomato plants are added to the same bed. Most likely due to both tomatoes and corn being heavy feeders. However, if your garden soil is rich enough, these plants can do well when planted close to each other.

However, the biggest reason to keep corn and tomatoes away from each other is that they are affected by any of the same pests.

The tomato fruit worm, also called corn earthworm or tomato hornworm, is a common pest affecting these plants. If planted together, these pests tend to multiply easily, affecting the yields of both plants.

6. Cauliflower

Fresh cauliflower in garden leaves.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @kalimpongvillageretreat

Cauliflower does not enjoy the companionship of strawberries, beans, and tomatoes. These plants tend to release chemicals that hinder the growth of cauliflower.

However, this popular calciferous vegetable will enjoy the companionship of aromatic herbs and onion family plants.

This is because the aromatic herbs and onion family plants will assist in keeping most of the pests that affect the cauliflower.

7. Kale

Kale, the dark, dark green leafy superfood vegetable, holds some of the most important nutrients for our body.

With the right knowledge, this plant is easy to grow, although it belongs to the cabbage family, which is prone to many pests.

For this reason, kale companion plants include onions, garlic, nasturtium, dills, and mint family herbs such as rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Companion planting kale will repel some common pests that affect the plants. However, for some reason, kale does not enjoy the companionship of basil.

The kale will do well with potatoes but will not get along well with tomatoes. Additionally, kale will not do well with strawberries.

8. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are some of the easiest veggies to grow and are highly rewarding to even novice farmers. 

They will do well when combined with other plants such as peas, beans, almost all the plants in cabbage, and nightshade families.

However, potatoes are not good companions. For some reason, cucumbers are not like the companions of aromatic herbs or strong flavors of plants such as sage, rosemary, basil, and sage.

Related: Leaves On Cucumber Turning Yellow

9. Lettuce

Although lettuces are leafy greens resembling cabbage, especially those head-forming types, they belong to the daisy family.

The lettuce will do well with most of the cruciferous family, except cauliflower and kale.

The allium family plants, including garlic and onions, seem to produce chemicals hindering their growth. In addition, the lettuce seems to compete with the same nutrients as the Allium family members.

10. Pepper

Basket of colorful bell peppers on grass.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @sowinginsuburbia

Although pepper belongs to the nightshade family, there are rarely affected by the disease and pests that affect the other members of the family, including:

  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

For this reason, pepper tends to have very few issues when growing them except for the fact that they do not do well with fennel and kohlrabi.

Research indicates that fennel tends to be “antagonistic” to almost all plants in the vegetable family, although this is not the case with kohlrabi.

Apart from being affected by the kohlrabi plant, peppers do not show any negative effects when grown with other members of the cruciferous family to which kohlrabi belongs.

You can also plant herbs next to your pepper to attract beneficial insects and fight off pests like flies and thrips. Examples of herbs that will work well with peppers include:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary

11. Melons

When you grow melons together with corn, you will likely have a bumper harvest.

Since the melons spread along the ground, they will suppress the weeds that compete with the corn for nutrients.

In addition, when the melon lays the leaves on the surface, it will act as a mulch that helps retain the soil’s moisture.

The leaves also act as an insulating layer, keeping the roots warm when the temperature drops. The melons do well with almost all members of sunflowers and tomatoes.

However, they do not do well with potatoes, although they are in the same group as tomatoes.

12. Onions

Onions do great when planted with cabbage family and nightshade vegetables. They do exceptionally well when plated together with root crops such as beets and carrots.

However, yields will be affected when you grow them together with some members of the legume family, including different types of peas and beans.

Asparagus is another type of vegetable that does not do well with onions. As stated earlier, asparagus competes for the same nutrients as the onions.

Related: Tips on Growing Green Onions Indoors

13. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are large vegetables that have lots of nutrients for our bodies. Since the plant covers the ground with its leaves, it acts as a natural mulch insulating the ground.

The leaves keep roots warm when cold, acting as a mulch to keep moisture in when the weather is hot.

This is why it does well when planted with corn, peas, and radish. The pumpkin will also benefit from the nitrogen-fixing delivered by the legumes. However, for some reason, pumpkins do not do well with potatoes.

14. Potatoes

Potatoes do well with many plants but also have a long list of incompatible plants. Potatoes do well when combined with short and long-growing plants such as cabbage family members, corn, peas, and beans.

To repel most of the pests that affect potatoes, they grow catnip plants, or nasturtium and marigold, which will also do a great job.

However, potatoes do not like the companionship of spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, squash, sunflower, and pumpkins.

Since both tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same family, they are attacked by similar diseases and pests. Therefore, we can explain their incompatibility with other vegetables because they tend to compete for the same nutrients.

15. Kohlrabi

Two kohlrabis on a rustic bench.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @majarebeckalarsson

Kohlrabi is another great plant offering great nutrients to keep our bodies strong and healthy.

Its presence among cucumber, beets, and onions is greatly appreciated, although this is not the case with pepper, tomato, and pole beans.

16. Squash

Squash is a delicious vegetable loved across the world. They do well in the presence of onions, radishes, and beans.

Because the squashes are soft and tasty, they tend to attract a lot of pests. For this reason, squash benefits from the companionship of pest-repellent herbs such as nasturtium, mint, and catnip.

One surprising thing about squash is that they cannot coexist well with pumpkins but do well with melons. Potatoes are also enemies with squash.

17. Beets

Beets are easy to grow since they are compatible with most vegetables and other garden plants. Beets do not take a lot of time to mature and give desired yields, provided you allow them breathing space when you grow together with other plants.

However, you should avoid growing them around mustard and pole beans.

18. Radishes

Watermelon radishes artistically sliced on wood.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @naomi.1424

Radishes are from the Brassicaceae family, a popular group of vegetables ideal for making salads. This plant is easy to grow, and you can increase its yields when you grow it together with:

  • Beans
  • Nasturtium
  • Beets
  • Chervil
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Melons
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Squash

However, it is incompatible with Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Hyssop, Kohlrabi, Grape, Potato, and Turnips.

19. Spinach

Some gardeners who grow spinach have found that they do not do well when planted with potatoes.

Some of these farmers believe it is because of the shallow roots of the spinach. Although the potatoes are larger than the spinach, they tend to keep their roots close to the soil.

This increases competition for water and nutrients close to the topsoil. In addition, since the potatoes are taller, they will block the much-needed sunlight, making spinach yield lower.

However, spinach benefits from nitrogen-fixing when grown together with peas and beans. In addition, spinach will do well when grown together with most cabbage family veggies and strawberries.

20. Eggplants

Fresh striped eggplants growing in garden.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @thefarmwoodburyct

Eggplant benefits from nitrogen fixation provided by legumes and is also a good companion to potato, capsicum, spinach, and pepper.

In addition, growing beans around eggplant will repel the Potato beetle, which attacks it and has a taste for eggplants.

To get the maximum yields, you should make sure that you keep away black walnuts, which are known to interfere with eggplant growth.

21. Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes on wooden surface.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @carmelbellafarm

Tomatoes are some of the garden staples that attract many pests and affect other nightshade veggies such as pepper, eggplant, and potatoes.

Related Reading: Tomatoes Do’s and Dont’s

So… it is advisable to avoid planting these plants together. When doing crop rotation, you should also remember to substitute with other plants not in this family.

Growing the same family may lead to the development of too many disease-causing microbes and eggs and larvae of common pests. Avoid growing tomatoes with cabbage family veggies as well as corn.

Moreover, it’s important to avoid planting tomatoes next to bush beans because it will likely shade them.

22. Strawberries

Strawberries are relatively heavy feeders, so they appreciate beans planted around them to provide nitrogen.

Since they develop sweet and soft fruits, they attract a lot of pests. However, if you plant them with onions, sage, and thyme, they benefit from their pest-repellent properties.

The strawberry yields are also lessened when grown with pest-prone cabbages family veggies.

23. Peas

Peas are leguminous plants that benefit many garden plants that require nitrogen. This makes them good companions to all types of cabbages, carrots, and corn.

But what not to plant with peas?

Peas prefer to be planted away from onions, shallots, garlic, and potatoes. The garlic and onions produce chemicals retarding the growth of peas.

24. Dill

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Dill is one of the aromatic herbs many garden plants appreciate because it repels pests.

This plant does well when planted close to onion, lettuce, and cabbage. However, this plant is incompatible with tomatoes and carrots for various reasons

25. Garlic

Most farmers think that growing garlic benefits all plants because of its pungent smell that repels pests.

Although this is very true, its ability to repel these pests does not seem effective for some plants.

For instance, leguminous plants such as beans do not do well when garlic is around. The snow peas are greatly affected since garlic makes them have stunted growth and very low yields.

However, some farmers have discovered that this can be corrected if you leave a sufficient distance between peas and garlic, allowing their roots to have a breathing space.

However, this does not work when the garlic is in a patch of asparagus. The pungent smell, however, will do a great job of repelling most of the pests that affect tomatoes, roses, and radishes.

26. Rosemary

Fresh rosemary herbs close-up.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @naturacentric

Rosemary plants are not only small and look great but also do a very good job of attracting pollinators. These pollinators will do a great job ensuring the plants are pollinated, thus increasing their overall yields.

The plant does well when planted around cruciferous vegetables. However, you should avoid planting them around the cucumbers.

This is because they tend to release some chemicals that hinder the cucumbers’ growth.

27. Brussels Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts are very tasty and good in salads. However, they have many of the same nutrient requirements as the tomatoes. This makes them compete for the same nutrients, so you should not plant them together.

In addition, they are also incompatible with strawberries. This is because they attract the same kinds of pests. However, planting these close to dill and thyme will benefit from their insect-repelling properties.

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They also do well when grown together with potatoes.

Allowing enough space between plants is very important since different plants have different nutrition demands.

Remember, plants that need more water and fertilizer can easily cause problems for other less nutrient-demanding plants.

If you want these incompatible plants to do well, provide extra space between them.

Another tip that can assist you in growing incompatible plants together is taking note of the allelopathic plants.

Allelopathic plants tend to impede other plants’ growth and development because they release certain chemicals that are harmful to the other plant.

Some of the most common allelopathic plants are weeds, although many others produce these effects on the competing plant species.

Although there are many discrepancies between what different farmers find good and bad companions for their plants, we have listed some of the common combinations that more than one farmer has observed.

However, you can find incompatible plants doing well depending on weather, soil type, nutrient availability, deficiency, or even the planting or growing seasons.

For example, when certain nutrients are deficient, some plants with similar needs will compete to get the most of what is available.

This may lower the yields of one of the competitors. This may also apply where the water is limited. However, with plenty of water, both plants can coexist happily.

For you to be the best gardener, you must learn to observe your plants closely. Then, use our planting guidelines and find what works best for you and your garden.

It is also very important to record your personal experiences as this can help you discover more beneficial companionships and incompatibilities.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | Images

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